Nagpur: ATMs of various banks in Nagpur are staring at the extended holiday period for Holi as many of them are left without cash.
Although sources in PSU behemoth State Bank of India (SBI), maintained that there was enough cash, sources said that there is a shortage in other banks indeed. Bankers say there are chances many consumers may find it difficult to get cash from an ATM during the extended weekend on account of Holi festival.
The impact may be yet to be seen on all the ATMs. City’s prominent areas like Dharampeth, Civil Lines and Sitabuldi, saw 70% of the ATMs were running, however, there were reports of machines in other localities being shut too.
Ajit Sharma who was waiting at the queue at SBI’s Kingsway branch, said he had returned empty-handed from the same bank’s ATM at Medical Square. Even the Axis Bank ATM did not have cash forcing him to come to Kingsway ATM where the main branch is located. Pravin Parate also in the same queue at SBI’s ATM at HP Petrol Pump Gitti Khadan was shut.
Limits on withdrawals from savings accounts too will be lifted from March 13, and bankers fear that unless RBI increases cash supplies the situation may only worsen. However, cash flow from RBI has only gone down lately.
RBI had removed the limits on current accounts from January 30 onwards. With this, businesses reduced dependence on electronic payments with banks seeing huge withdrawals from the current accounts. Since a fortnight the RBI has not been replenishing cash in proportion to the outgo in commercial banks.
At present many banks are not been able to spare funds for the ATMs, with some even having imposed internal limits on withdrawals from the counters.
“There has to be cash to fill up the ATMs. The problem is especially in the nationalized banks. In last remittance our bank got barely 20 crore as against the demand of Rs55 crore from RBI. This leave a huge gap. In such a case ATMs are expected to be hit too,” said a source in a PSU Bank having over 60 branches in the region.
“The ATMs are refilled by outsourced agencies which will be working during the holidays. However, banks itself are short of cash unable leave enough supplies with the agencies,” said the regional manager of a PSU bank.
“There has been no specific reason from the RBI except that cash is in short supply. The supply has come down to nearly 25% of the demand. This is bound to impact availability of cash at the ATMs. Our bank has also imposed limits on over the counter withdrawals depending on the availability of cash in each branch,” said a senior official in a government bank having major market share across the state.
“We had a tough time dealing with dry ATMs till a day ago and we have managed to refill the machine again,” said a manager in a bank having over 65 ATMs in the city and outskirts. The cash supplies from RBI have halved insce fortnight he said.